How We Begin and End our Days

Many of us lead very busy lives. We sometimes feel like we are going non-stop from morning til night. But for our own sake, as well as the sake of those around us, we need to take some time each day to be alone with God in prayer, time to center ourselves…time to recharge.

Even on those days when one oversleeps and doesn’t have time for extensive morning prayer, there is value in at least taking a few moments of quiet with God. Edith Stein expressed the importance of this beautifully, saying, “God is there in these moments of rest and can give us in a single instant exactly what we need. Then the rest of the day can take its course, under the same effort and strain, perhaps, but in peace.”

At the end of our busy day, it can be tempting to go full tilt until we lay our exhausted heads on our pillows. Far better to take a little time before sleep to go back over the day with God. That might take the form of an Ignatian examen, about which I’ve written before, or it may take some other form. But even if we are too tired to engage in a long form of an examen, we can at least take a few minutes with God to give some closure to the day. Here is Edith Stein’s suggestion:

And when night comes, and you look back over the day and see how fragmentary everything has been, and how much you planned that has gone undone, and all the reasons you have to be embarrassed and ashamed: just take everything exactly as it is, put it in God’s hands and leave it with Him. Then you will be able to rest in Him – really rest – and start the next day as a new life.

Put it in God’s hands and really rest. Pretty inviting.